Grant Hart – Is The Sky The Limit? (2013)

As founder and half of the songwriting engine that drove the mighty Hüsker Dü, to his maverick solo work, (has there ever been a portrait of a breakup as evocative yet anthemic as “2541”?) Grant Hart has cut a singular path across the last three decades of music. It is with great confidence that we say he has made an album to rival his greatest achievements. A double album based on John Milton’s epic “Paradise Lost”, Hart distills its essence into pop and rock concoctions that nimbly flit through the history of 20th century music from Irving Berlin and David Bowie to… Hüsker Dü, even. Ambition is the topic and Hell is the location for this project that is ambitious as Hell. Does he pull it off? We say yes!

While visiting James Grauerholz, former friend and secretary for William S. Burroughs, James showed Grant an unpublished manuscript for Lost Paradise, William’s science fiction story which portrays the fallen angels as men from distant planets and God as none other than fellow Missourian Harry S. Truman. James and Grant discussed adding music to William’s story much in the same way that Tom Waits and William conspired to turn the German folk tale Die Freischütz into The Black Rider as staged by Robert Wilson.

As a double album of two halves, we wanted to show both the light and the dark of the album in its initial introduction, so we are offering two tracks for preview. “Is The Sky the Limit?” is a melancholy song of the aftermath of rejection built upon the eerie and lonely sound of Sputnik 1. To counterbalance this somber paen, “Letting Me Out” follows in all its propulsive Buddy Holly glory as the Artist formerly known as Lucifer offers up his cunning business proposition to populate the netherworld.


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